Viewing BattleMech Unit
    Overview |  Distribution |  Battle Value |  Cost |  Availability  | Reviews   
Design Overview
Generate a file in     format  
                 BattleMech Technical Readout

Name/Model:         Blade BLD-XL
Designer:           Catalyst Game Labs
Source(s):          Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged, The Cutting Edge
                    Technical Readout: 3085 Supplemental
Technology:         Inner Sphere
Technology Rating:  E
Tonnage:            35
Configuration:      Biped BattleMech
Era/Year:           Republic / 3087
Rules (Current):    Tournament Legal
Rules (Era):        Tournament Legal
Rules (Year):       Tournament Legal
Total Cost:         6,134,018 C-Bills
Battle Value:       1,314

Structure:            Endo Steel
Power Plant:          245 XL
Walking Speed:        75.6 kph  
Maximum Speed:        118.8 kph 
Jump Jets:            None
    Jump Capacity:    None
Armor:                Light Ferro-Fibrous
Armament:             
    2 ER Medium Lasers
    1 Rotary AC/5
Manufacturer:         Unknown
    Primary Factory:  Unknown
Communications:       Unknown
Targeting & Tracking: Unknown

================================================================================================
Overview:
    The Blade was commissioned as part of the military standardization protocols enacted by
    former Republic Commanding General Victor Steiner-Davion. The end of the Jihad found the
    Coalition-turned-Republic army a hodgepodge of technology ranging from primitive Age of War
    designs through century-old survivors and to the latest, cutting-edge, new production
    models. The standardization program called for culling material that would be difficult to
    maintain, outside the RAF?s mission role, or too few ? and too ineffectual ? to warrant
    continued use.
    
    The other aspect of the Commanding General?s program was to ensure reliable access to key
    mission role technologies. With recruits and equipment from every corner of the Sphere,
    large portions of the proto-RAF?s TO&E consisted of equipment from well outside the forming
    Republic?s borders. New Hessen WorkMechs ? manufacturer of the workhorse Rook ? eventually
    won the contract for a light strike ?Mech with their Blade BattleMech, despite being just
    outside the Republic.

Capabilities:
    As much as possible, durability and ease of maintenance drove the development of the Blade,
    which at first would call into question why a GM extra-light engine was chosen. However, the
    Blade survives on the maxim of ?speed is life.? Its ability to achieve speeds of over one
    hundred kilometers an hour grants it this durability of speed. Reusing many of the Rook?s
    battlefield-tested components answered both the call for easy maintenance and durability,
    from the pared-down Rook chassis to the electronics and even the same cockpit assembly of
    the heavier ?Mech. The flat plate armor mounting gives the light cavalry design an
    IndustrialMech feel, at the benefit of reducing armor replacement times by up to fifty
    percent. While the Blade will not win any visual design awards, it is a tough chassis
    capable of swiftly closing to deliver its firepower.
    
    The firepower consists of a highly reliable Mydron rotary autocannon and two of Diverse
    Optics? well-tested extended-range medium lasers. A full three tons of ammunition feed the
    rotary cannon, allowing it respectable battlefield endurance even when using high rates of
    fire. All three weapons are mounted in the right arm, which critics of the design are quick
    to point out as a risk. However, the New Hessen designers acknowledged and dismissed the
    issue at the same time.
    
    The Blade?s weapon arm is an attempt to achieve an Omni-level ease of maintenance on a
    standard chassis. Borrowing on Clan modularization technology, the entire right arm is a
    self contained system with only the shoulder actuator and the armored weapon and power feed
    connecting it to the main chassis. The benefits of this is if any component of the arm is
    damaged, all technicians need do is disconnect the ammo feed mechanism and detach the arm
    from the shoulder joint to completely remove the arm. A replacement can then be put in
    place, while the damaged arm is worked on at ground level.
    
    Finally, with rotary autocannons prone to jamming and the internal space of the chassis very
    tight, New Hessen WorkMechs? designers spent considerable time on the ammunition feed
    system. Internally the ammunition bay uses a single feed system, reducing the chance for
    internal jamming when changing bins. All ammunition is then fed out through an armored feed
    system that avoids routing through the shoulder assembly. Despite the appearance of
    fragility, field trials of the Blade have shown it to be ten percent less likely to suffer a
    jam then the Legionnaire.

Deployment:
    The first three years of production are promised to the Republic Armed Forces, with the
    Federated Suns having an option to purchase up to 50% of all future production runs. So far
    New Avalon has not expressed any firm interest in the design, focusing on the heavier
    Legionnaire and just-released Cuirass.
    
    RAF deployment of the Blade is primarily planned for the Principes Guard and for key defense
    of vital worlds, where a rapid and durable response to threats is needed.

Variants:
    The semi-modular nature of the weapon arm has made it possible to offer two simple
    modifications of the BLD-XL. The first is an attempt to even further simplify maintenance in
    addition to increasing the design?s overall durability. The XS uses a Mydron Model B medium
    autocannon and standard-model Diverse Optics lasers in place of the extended-range models.
    Much easier to maintain and support logistically, this model?s chief failing is its critical
    lack of ammunition. With only ten reloads, it is forced to stay close to supply lines and
    any thought of using specialty ammunitions is effectively squashed. The XX model is intended
    to increase the Blade?s anti-aircraft power with the use of a Mydron Excel LB 10-X
    autocannon. Two tons of ammunition force it to choose its load out carefully, which is made
    even worse by the ammunition system. Designers were unable to adapt the single track feed
    system to handle multiple ammunition types, forcing the XX to carry either standard or
    cluster ammunition in battle.
    
    Understandably, the rotary variant is expected to be the most common of the three models
    produced and all current RAF orders are for the XL model.

================================================================================================
Equipment                                                             Mass                      
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Internal Structure:                         Endo Steel                 2.00                     
Engine:                                       245 XL                   6.00                     
    Walking MP:                                 7                                               
    Running MP:                                 11                                              
    Jumping MP:                                 0                                               
Heat Sinks (Double):                         10 [20]                   0.00                     
Gyro:                                           XL                     1.50                     
Cockpit:                                     Standard                  3.00                     
Armor Factor:                                  118                     7.00                     
    Type:                              Light Ferro-Fibrous                                      

                                    Internal         Armor     
                                    Structure        Value     
    Head:                               3              9       
    Center Torso:                      11             16       
    Center Torso (rear):                               5       
    R/L Torso:                          8             12       
    R/L Torso (rear):                                  4       
    R/L Arm:                            6             12       
    R/L Leg:                            8             16       

================================================================================================
Weapons and Ammo                                       Location          Critical     Tonnage   
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CASE                                                      RT                1          0.50             
Rotary AC/5 (Ammo 60)                                     RT                3          3.00             
2 ER Medium Lasers                                        RA                2          2.00             
Rotary AC/5                                               RA                6         10.00